Singles Round Up - March 23rd

Single of the Week heads north of the border...
black wax.jpg
This week’s round up comes your way courtesy of the letters W, I and N, and the number 6.

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Single of the Week

Dananananaykroyd – ‘Black Wax’
Initially coming on like one of the Scottish sextet’s less-abrasive numbers, its clean guitar motifs giving way to some comparatively pure vocalising, it’s not too long before ‘Black Wax’ collapses under the weight of frenzied expectation and morphs into the limb-swinging screamer we’d all been anticipating. The title always has me singing “blame it on the blaaaack wax” in my head, Radiohead style, but the truth is far closer to the explosive histrionics of stateside acts like Black Eyes and the Blood Brothers than any domestic indie act’s repertoire.

(Dana played our special Clash vs Relentless party at SXSW – click HERE for the review.)

Dananananaykroyd – ‘Black Wax’


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Also out today…

White Lies – ‘Farewell To The Fairground’
Still splitting opinion with their rather too-perfect co-opting of a familiarly Joy Division darkness, youthful trio White Lies nevertheless prove that they’re remarkably capable of sculpting an immediate, catchy indie-rock single, as ‘Farewell To The Fairground’ mixes a lyrical perspective of utmost bleakness with some truly soaring guitars. Admittedly it’s too straight-faced to be offensive to many an Ian Curtis acolyte, but the ostensible style does reek of reproduction over proactive creativity.

Metro Station – ‘Shake It’
Disney Channel punk-pop. Slightly less annoying than an hour of George Lamb’s 6Music show, but only just.

Fucked Up – ‘Year Of The Rat’ / ‘First Born’
Another epic Chinese New Year-marking offering (after ‘Year Of The Pig’) from the Canadian punks who refuse to be restricted by such loose pigeonholing, ‘Year Of The Rat’ is Fucked Up at their most chaotically conceptual best, an anti-anthem that builds to some peaks sizeable enough to render their less-ambitious material sounding like Blink-182 cast-offs… For a second or two, anyway, as while ‘First Born’ is a more ‘typical’ number in the sextet’s canon, when compared to the rank and file it flies in the face of genre conventions like a fiery wretch. We’ve come to expect the unexpected from Fucked Up – got your head around ‘The Chemistry Of Common Life’ yet? – and this suits the outfit’s hollered-hoarse M.O. just fine.

It Hugs Back – ‘Now + Again’
Gorgeous restraint-rock from the Kentish foursome, whose impressive ‘Inside Your Guitar’ debut follows on April 6. The magic of this offering lies in its withholding of the aggression you know lies so slightly below the surface, shackled down by exquisite melody and vocals that drift in, light and airy rather than mix-dominatingly high. It’s got a wonderful DIY feel, manifested physically with a neat stop-motion video. See the band at the next Clash Saturday Social, on March 28 at the Notting Hill Arts Club – full details on the free-entry show can be found HERE.

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It Hugs Back – ‘Now + Again’


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Shuttle – ‘Tunnel’ / ‘Rotten Guts’
(Relatively) new Ninja Tune signing Shuttle, also known under his remixer alias of Etan, ups the low end on this breakout single, a sample-laden instrumental that toys with dubstep tangents but ultimately comes off as a much more subtle proposition. Less delicate with our senses is the Cadence Weapon-featuring flip ‘Rotten Guts’, which finds the Canadian emcee on typically sparkling form, tongue-twisting himself into a fiery frenzy. Impressive.

Hockey – ‘Too Fake’
An apt title – this sounds like an impression of a bar band doing an impression of LCD Soundsystem while picturing themselves as the next Strokes. Harmless, but given the hype around the Portland outfit that’s a rather disappointing conclusion. See them on tour soon with Friendly Fires to decide for yourself.

Metric – ‘Help, I’m Alive’
While the last Metric album ‘Live It Out’ exploded from its blocks with the single ‘Monster Hospital’ – the band’s most widely recognisable song by a considerable margin – this effort from new long-player ‘Fantasies’ is a rather understated, discerningly stylish lead track. Bodes well for its parent album, which the Canadian foursome release over here on April 6.

Noisettes – ‘Don’t Upset The Rhythm’
Better yet: don’t listen to this song.

The Kills – ‘Black Balloon’
More swaggering attitude from the duo whose variation within their oeuvre isn’t entirely obvious, but if it ain’t broke…

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The Kills – ‘Black Balloon’


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